Fitness centers are a safe space to exercise and improve overall health—even amid a pandemic.
In a study performed by the Oregon Consulting Group (OCG) with data collected by the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE), it was discovered that attending a gym poses a low risk of COVID-19 transmission. The Colorado Fitness Coalition (CFC) is working in conjunction with the CDPHE, the Colorado General Assembly, and local communities to ensure this data is taken into account to support gyms being allowed to operate at higher capacity levels.
Researchers compared 32 weeks of Colorado gym attendance data that contains nearly 8.5 million check-ins to the publicly available COVID-19 case counts. It was discovered that there is no correlation between COVID-19 case rates and gym attendance. It was also found that there was no association to traditional gyms or fitness centers of the 59 different outbreak locations Colorado officials identified from more than 9,700 positive COVID-19 cases.
From a public health standpoint, it's comforting to know that fitness facilities are safe to visit in order to increase immunity, relieve stress, and maintain a space outside of the home where so many Americans are being confined.
"There’s a lot of speculation regarding gyms that just isn’t based on facts and data. This independent study confirms that gyms are one of the safest places people will go all day," said CFC Advisory Board Member, Paula Neubert of Club Greenwood. "Furthermore, maintaining our physical activity and mental health is critical in fighting the worst impacts of COVID-19." Health clubs like Club Greenwood in Greenwood Village have been leaders amid the COVID-19 pandemic with their intense cleaning regimens, social distancing requirements, and mandatory mask usage.
It is, however, unfortunate that this information comes at a time where so many gyms have either shuttered or are continuing to ache from the loss in revenue when gyms were closed earlier in the year. On top of the job loss of wellness professionals plus the adverse health effects of not being able to maintain a fitness routine, everyone is hurting. Because of the domino effect, COVID-19 shutdowns have had on businesses, hundreds of Colorado health clubs are likely to close—taking away thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in payroll taxes.
We still have a long way to go in terms of getting things back to "normal," but at least we can say that there are safe spaces where a person can go and better themselves physically and mentally.
How has your workout been derailed by your gym closing during the pandemic? Let us know in the comments.